Australia’s mis-firing sevens team will be missing diminutive game-breaker Maurice Longbottom for the USA Sevens in Las Vegas which kicks off on March 1.
Longbottom has been ruled out with a hamstring injury while Josh Coward is another casualty from the team that lined up at the Sydney Sevens.
Australia coach Tim Walsh has brought in former Junior Wallabies flyer Liam McNamara and Sydney product Matthew hood as his replacements.
Australia are currently in sixth position in the World Series standings on 47 points behind joint-leaders New Zealand and the USA, both on 76 points, South Africa, 57, and England, 55. The top four teams at the end of this season’s World Series qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
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“The next two legs of the series present a great opportunity for this squad to attack for HSBC Sevens World Series points as we cross the halfway mark,” Walsh said.
“Liam McNamara is an aggressive attacking player, has a great rugby brain and he is ready to lead the players around the field in his ball playing role. Matt is one of the most explosive players in the wider squad an has been breaking down the selection door to be in the final 12,” Walsh added.
Australia are pooled with Fiji, Wales and Scotland in the preliminary round in Las Vegas.
Australia: Lewis Holland (captain), Nick Malouf, Jesse Parahi, John Porch, Ben O’Donnell, Jeral Skelton, Simon Kennewell, Michael Wells, Liam McNamara, Henry Hutchison, Brandon Quinn, Matthew Hood, Tom Connor.
Main photo: Maurice Longbottom in action at the Sydney Sevens. Credit: Twitter